San Francisco’s cocktail bars are filling their menus with sugar, spice, and everything nice. Are you craving a warm, comforting drink to get you through December? Read on to discover our favorite holiday cocktails around the city!
1. Noche Buena at The Vault Garden
The Vault Garden has a lovely winter cocktail menu, with 11 different themed drinks! ‘Noche Buena’ is served up and includes a celebratory mix of Espolon tequila, Canton ginger liquor, Ancho Reyes, Peychaud’s Aperitivo, and strawberry-pink peppercorn.
Location: Plaza Level, 555 California Street (FiDi)
2. Irish Coffee at The Buena Vista
The Buena Vista has been perfecting their Irish coffee recipe since 1952. They now serve up to 2,000 Irish coffees a day. Variations include the Screwball Irish Coffee with peanut butter whiskey, Nutty Irishman Coffee with Frangelico and Bailey’s, and a Chocolate Coffee with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur.
Location: 2765 Hyde Street (Fisherman’s Wharf)
3. Hot Buttered Rum at Smuggler’s Cove
This renowned 3-story tiki bar has an encyclopedic knowledge of classic and modern tropical drinks along with an award-winning rum selection, which boasts upwards of 1000 rums. The hot buttered rum comes with their house-made spice batter.
Location: 650 Gough Street (Hayes Valley)
4. Hot Spiced Cider at Elixir
Hot apple juice with cinnamon, allspice, and clove. Add your choice of spirit, they recommend Argonaut Saloon Strength Brandy! Other holiday drinks include Elixir eggnog with several variations, the Kentucky Pilgrim, the Golden Hot Toddy, or the Caribbean Egg Cream.
Location: 3200 16th Street (Mission District)
5. Old Peculier Punch at Whitechapel
A delicious winter punch with brandy, scotch, fresh ginger root, fresh cranberries, maple syrup, lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit, topped with grated nutmeg.
Location: 600 Polk Street (Polk Gulch)
6. Brown Buttered Coffee at The Snug
This festive treat is served hot and includes bourbon, house-made chestnut liquor, and coffee, then topped with rich amaro cream. It’s a tasty drink that’s perfect for the holidays and fortunately available all winter long.
Location: 2301 Fillmore Street (Pacific Heights)
7. Pumpkin Spice Sour at Macondray
Enjoy your favorite fall flavors while you still can! This pumpkin spice sour is to die for, but Macondray is also serving up hot mulled cider, hot toddies, and more.
Location: 2209 Polk Street (Russian Hill)
8. The Irish Hate Root Beer at Casements
An Irish-approved rootbeer cocktail with Akashi Ume Plum Whiskey, Uncle Nearest Whiskey, Jelinek Fernet liqueur, acid phosphate, root beer and Guinness. Other drinks include a Belfast coffee with coldbrew and maple whipped cream, and a hot Paying our Dews coffee with Tullamore D.E.W, coffee and fresh cream.
Location: 2351 Mission St (Mission District)
9. Tom and Jerry at The Alembic
Alembic is known for its rotating menu of seasonal drinks, so it’s no surprise that they pull out all the stops for the holidays. This version of the classic Tom & Jerry cocktail includes berteaux cognac, wright & brown dark rum, winter spices, whole egg, and milk. It’s served hot in its own special mug and it’s the perfect drink to enjoy in cold weather and with good company.
Location: 1725 Haight Street (Haight-Ashbury)
10. Spiked Lemon Ginger Apple Cider at Outerlands
Located a few blocks from Ocean Beach, Outerlands has always had a knack for serving up cozy, warming meals and drinks to cut through the persistent Outer Sunset fog. Their spiked lemon ginger apple cider is available all year long but this drink feels perfect around the holidays. It can be ordered with any spirit, but bourbon is an excellent choice.
Location: 4001 Judah Street (Outer Sunset)
Featured image: @thesnugsf via Instagram